Sunday, November 29, 2015

Orange Jello Salad

Don't be fooled by the name as I did. This is the time of the year when you have many get together with friends and families.  Orange jello salad is a very easy dessert to put together and everyone will enjoy it. I have no idea how this name of " salad" came for this dessert.
I made this for our thanksgiving party dinner and everyone liked it. This dessert can be made the day before you have a party.

Get Ready: ( serves about 10- 15 people)

  • 1 large pack Orange Jello ( I used the one from whole foods)
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges
  • 1 small can crushed pine apple, juice drained
  • 1 (8oz) pack of cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1 small container cool whip at room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar (optional)


  • Make the jello as per packet instructions. Let it set till halfway.

  • With a spatula or an electric whisk cream the cream cheese and sugar till fluffy.
  • Fold in the cool whip gently.
  • Add the jello, mandarin oranges and pineapple to the cream cheese mixture.

  • Cover and refrigerate over night.
  • Serve whenever you are a ready.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Paneer and Bell Pepper Curry

Bell peppers are every where in the supermarkets and here is a best way to make use of them. I have made this curry with no onion and garlic and using ingredients that was in my pantry that day. This curry has a rich gravy, not with cream or butter though! cashews/ almonds give a nice texture to this yummy curry. If you are using frozen paneer cubes, just soak them in hot water for few mins before adding it to the gravy. it makes them soft.

 Give it a try and I am sure you and your family will like it. Did I tell you, it is super easy to make.

Get Ready

  • Paneer cubes 1/2 cup
  • Bell pepper 3 colors ( I used red, orange and green)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • A pinch of asafetida/ hing
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander pwder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp kasoori methi
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • cilantro for garnish
  • water as needed

To Grind

  • 3 Roma tomatoes,chopped
  • 1 red chilli ( i did not have green chili)
  • 1tbsp grated ginger
  • 1/3 cup cashews or sliced almonds soaked in water for few mins ( i had only almonds)
  • 1/4 tsp khus khus/ poppy seeds (optional)


  • Grind the ingredients under to grind and set aside
  • In a pan, add oil. when hot add the cumin/ jeera and let it sizzle.

  • Add the kassori methi, crushing the dry leaves in between your finger to the oil and saute for a few secs.

  • Add the ground masala and saute till the raw smell goes, for a few secs.
  • Add the  turmeric powder, asafetida, red chilli powder, salt, and saute for few secs. 
  • Add the chopped bell pepper. Toss them all well.

  • Reduce flame, cover, sprinkle some water and let it cook for about 5-7 mins. If it is too dry, add very little water. Add the cumin and coriander powder.

  • When the bell pepper is partially cooked, add the paneer, Adjust salt, or heat as per taste. If you need more heat add chilli powder or garam masala optionally at that time.

  • Add a little water as needed for the consistency of your gravy.
  • Cover, simmer and cook for another 5-7 mins till the masala incorporates in the paneer.
  • Turn the heat off. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy with chapathi/ poori/ pead pulao or any mixed vegetable rice.


I have not used any onion or garlic in this recipe. If you wish, you can add them and am sure it would taste wonderful.
Left overs tastes good with bread toast

Monday, October 5, 2015

Tinda Subzi

Tinda is a vegetable similar to small baby squash which is round. It is very famous in punjabi household where they make a stuffed " Bharwan tinda". I have tasted this growing up in my aun'ts house where they make a kootu. I have recently seen them in our local Indian store and wanted to try them.

My kids love sauted onion with vegetables instead of coconut. So, I tried this as a dry subzi and it was good. Myself and DH liked it. My son said it was " meh" as it had some seeds, and my daughter did not even know what she was eating as she was busy watching " shrek" on netflix!

I served this as a side dish to rice and sambar! Poor Tinda, that's what happens when to come to a South Indian's kitchen

Get ready

  •  6 Tinda washed, peeled, and cubed  ( remove as much seeds as possible)
  • 1 small onion sliced
  •  1 roma tomato chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds for tadka
  •  a few sprigs of curry leave
  •  cilantro to garnish

To roast and grind

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds/ dhaniya
  • 1 tbsp channa dal
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida/ hing


  • In a pan add little oil and roast all the ingredients under roast till golden. once cool, add the asafetida and grind them to a coarse powder. set aside.

  • In a pad, add oil. when hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle.

  • Add the onions and fry till translucent.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for a few mins.

  • Add the chopped tinda, turmeric, 1 tsp of salt and toss them all together.
  • Reduce heat, cover and cook stirring in between till the tinda is soft. If needed, sprinkle littel water while cooking.
  • Once the tinda is soft, add the ground masala powder. adjust salt as per your taste at this point.

  •  Uncover and cook on medium heat till all the spices are well incorporated in the tinda. takes about 10 mins
Serve with roti, rice and enjoy!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Paneer Burji Quesadilla / Paneer Crumble Quesadilla

I recently had a friend over for lunch who just wanted to just hang out with me catching up on gossip and things. When I asked her what I can cook for her, she said  as usual, " don't worry, we can order some sandwiches!". I had some paneer that I bought from Indian store recently and I thought making a grilled paneer sandwich. But, Once my friend was here, we were busy chatting and completely forgot about the grilling part.

I ended up making a paneer burji and put it inside a flour tortilla and made it as a quesadilla. I served with some curried carrot and butter nut squash soup. My friend said the food was " out of the world". I made the same for my kids after school snack and they loved it. My daughter who does not eat cheese, ate a whole quesadilla with out any squeak!

It is so easy to put together and you can try this and see.

Get Ready

  • Store brought paneer 3/4 pack, crumbled with hands. ( use a food processor if you have one)
  • 1/2 white onion very finely chopped
  • Lots of cilantro, i did not measure it
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • finely chopped green chillies ( optional)
  • Grated ginger ( optional)
  • Mission Flour tortillas medium sized
  • olive oil to to cook the quesadillas


  • In a bowl add the crumbled paneer, chopped onions, cilantro, all masalas and salt. combine them all well and set aside.

  • Take a tortilla, spoon the mixture on one side of the tortilla. fold the tortilla over.

  • You can cook them immediately or assemble them, cover with a damp cloth and refrigerate.
  • In a  hot skillet, add a little oil and place the folded tortilla. Cook till golden and flip the other side.
  • Cook till golden on both sides.

  • Cut into any shape you want and serve with ketchup, sour cream or even a mint chutney

I used the same filling inside  bread and made them as bread rolls for he kids. Cut the edges of the bread out. With the rolling pin, roll the bread nice and flat. Spoon the paneer burji filling inside. Roll the bread tight and apply a little water to the edge and press down. Apply some butter on the bread and cook a tawa, seam side down first till golden and crispy.

Add caption

A perfect school lunch, after school snack or quick week night dinner. if you don't have tortillas, one can also use left over chapathi's.

Try this out and tell me if you and your family likes it.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Cauliflower Paratha / Gobi paratha

I recently found this pack of "Riced Cauliflower" at Trader Joe's and immediately thought, " woe, that would be perfect to use in a paratha! And that is what I did and it came out so well and I saved some time grating or food processing the cauliflower. they are not expensive and only $1.99 at TJ! love TJ!<3 p="">

If you don't get the riced cauliflower, just wash, clean the florets of cauliflower and grate them. Don't include the stem, save it and use it in a soup.

My kids loved them and they are perfect for breakfast, dinner or school lunches.

Get Ready ( makes about 8-9 parathas)

 For the filling

  • 2 cups riced/ grated cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp sambar powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and (optional) mint leaves
  • salt to taste
  • oil/ ghee to cook parathas

For the outer covering

  • 1 cup atta/ wheat flower
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • oil to rub


  • Make the dough, cover it with a wet cloth or saran wrap and set aside.

  • Next, let us make the filling.

  • In a dry pan, add the riced cauliflower, grated ginger, turmeric, chili powder, sambar powder salt and fry them till all the moisture evaporates.
  • Add cilantro, chopped mint and set aside for it cool completely. This is very important as you don't want the stiffing to be warm and it will be hard to roll the parathas.

  • Take a lemon sized ball of the dough, make a small disc. Take a small key lime sized filling.
  • Add the stuffing inside and pull the edges in a pleated fashion to close. Make  the ball smooth, and flatten the dough with your palm.

  • Dust a surface and gently, I mean very gently roll the paratha.
  • You can also do the second method, which is much easier by making 2 discs out of the dough. spread the filling on the first one, cover with the second disc, seal the edges and roll. This method makes less mess and reduces the chance of filling seeping out.
  • Heat the tawa, and add the rolled paratha. Once you see small bubbles on the surface of the paratha, flip them over.

  •  Add little oil or ghee and cook the parathas till golden on both sides.

Serve hot with raita, yougurt or pickle. My kids love to eat them with ketchup!


Add cumin, dhania powder,or green chilli according to your taste for the filling.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Crispy Onion Rava Dosa ( Restaurant Style)

Here is a very simple and easy recipe for a crispy, hotel style Onion rava dosai. We recently were in London and my daughter loved the onion rava doasi served at Hotel Saravana Bhavan. We ate there 4 times during our stay and every time, my little girl wanted to eat the same dosa. She does not care for chutney, sambar for dipping and is just happy with a little bit of rasam. I make this so often and was actually surprised that I had blogged about it before.

So, Here is the recipe. Use equal measure of rice flour and rava and 1/2 measure of maida or all purpose flour. The other ingredients are all per taste and you can tweak it the way you want. You don't have to soak the rava, rice flour in any thing. It so happened to me that, I made the batter and let it sit for 30 mins before making dosa.

This dosa cannot be spread the same way as regular dosa. Since the batter will be watery, you have to pour it in a circle on a hot tawa slowly from the outside and then slowly fill up the insides.

Get Ready ( makes 10- 15 dosa)

  • 1 cup Rice flour
  • 1 cup Rava/ sooji
  • 1/2 cup All purpose flour/ maida
  • 1 cup butter milk
  • 2 tsp jeera/ cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black pepper corn/ milagu
  • 3.5 - 4 cups of water (add more as needed)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • Lots of curry leaves and chopped cilantro
  • 1 small onion  pretty finely chopped.
  • 2 small green chilly chopped ( optional)
  • oil to make dosa


  • In a bowl add all the flours, salt, jeera, pepper, grated ginger, curry leaves and cilantro.

  • Add butter milk, water and whisk them all well without any lumps. 

  • If you batter is going to sit for a while, make sure to whisk them all again as the rawa will sink at the bottom and the batter will thicken. Add more water so the batter is watery, but not too thin.

  • Add the chopped onions, salt to taste.
  • Heat your tawa or skillet. Sprinkle some water on the tawa to make sure it is pretty hot. The water should sizzle right away.
  • Pour the batter first forming a outer circle and gradually fill up the inside. It should looks lacy with lots of holes.  I used a rectangular skillet and hence all weird geographic shapes !

  • Add oil and a little bit of ghee for the dosa to cook till brown and crispy. One does not have to flip them to the other side, but you can if you want to.
  • Serve hot with chutney, sambar or molagapodi. I served with Almond chutney which can be found here !

Enjoy the crispy onion rava dosa without counting how many you eat! They taste so good piping hot!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Paal Payasm , Kerala style / Milk Kheer

I have another post on Paal Payasam, where I cook it on a open vessel method. Check out my previous recipe here Paal Payasam

 It takes a little time, but totally worth it.

This version is an easy method of making paal payasam in the pressure cooker. It does not involve a lot of stirring and the final product has a light pinkish color and tastes so good. You need a big pressure cooker and a tall vessel to go inside it. My mom used to make this type a lot, however my mother in law will always make the open vessel type. The rule of thumb for paal payasam is 1 litre milk needs a hand full of rice and half sugar. Kerala red payasam rice gives a great authentic flavor. I did not have that and used sona masoori rice.

Kerala Pal Payasam does not usually have any cardamom, cashews or raisins and just has the milky flavor.

This payasam served during special feasts goes very well with Poli!

Get Ready

  • 2% milk 2 cups  ( 500 ml)
  • 1/2 handfull of raw rice 
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  • Wash the rice
  • Add the rice to the milk in a tall vessel.

  • Add little water than normal inside the pressure cooker.
  • Keep the vessel with milk and rice inside the pressure cooker.

  • Cover and cook for 3 whistles and simmer for 25- 30 mins.
  • Turn the heat off. let it rest for 15 mins and then open the cooker.
  • You will see the milk changed color and rice cooked well.
  • Add the sugar to this and cook directly on low flame for 10 -15 mins till the sugar completely dissolves, stirring in between.

  • Turn the heat off and serve. This payasm tastes even better when chilled.